Today's poem is by David Rigsbee


A slow burn. And then, even the cells
whisper goodbye in a slow, vegetal loneliness.
Today the stem goes to a stump, a seam
along which the leaf is cloven and rains
down in this rain. If the separation
defines the kiss, I have seen so many
falling out of love today

that little remains except imagining the stretch
between the ground and the crooked corn,
a simple magic. For miles
the orchards shrink to gristle and joint
and propose to carry the white load of sleep
like watchmen in the knife factory.

It is the equinox, and today I feel
the thrall that reconciles the animal
and the hole, cloud and lake, the sexes.
The ticking at the window grows: the odorless rain,
but in the kitchen the summer flies still swirl.
I hunt them all, as if nothing
should learn to expect the impossible.

Negative eloquence, it has all returned,
if deep withdrawal is the return to self,
is why the fire saves nothing, discards nothing
and old blood shifts from red to black,
why maple ignites like jelly in the frost,
root, trunk, branch, and here, your leaf.

Copyright © 2010 David Rigsbee All rights reserved
from The Red Tower
NewSouth Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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